Samantha and Phillip – Part II

All weddings are wonderful. That’s why I do the job I do – because I love weddings! I am yet to go to one and leave unmoved by the love and commitment of the couple involved. When it’s the wedding of someone close to you, however, it’s just that little bit more moving.

Red Butterfly Photography

In May this year, my surrogate brother, Phil, married Sam at the heritage-listed 333 Collins Street, Melbourne.  It was perfect, even if I do say so myself.

Phil had seven (yes, 7) groomsmen standing next to him on the day, with his brother Mat and best mate Rod sharing best man duties. I used to think that large bridal parties were excessive, but after seeing Phil with his mates I get it.

Red Butterfly Photography

For Phil, this was simply a reflection of the importance he places on friendship. Many of the men standing next to him on his wedding day have been his mates since primary school and it was unimaginable to Phil that he enter the next stage of his life without them next to him, offering their silent support.

When Sam arrived, Phil chose not to turn around until she was at the top of the aisle. I can still hear him asking me as the bridesmaids entered, his voice choked with emotion, ‘Is she there yet, Koz? Can I look? I can’t wait to see her.’

When Sam entered on the arm of her brother to Chantal Kreviazuk’s Feels Like Home, the look on Phil’s face was a mixture of pride, tenderness and love.

Highlighting the importance that Sam and Phil each place on family, all of their siblings were given roles on the day, whether in the bridal party or sharing readings. Perhaps most poignantly of all, Sam was given away by the one person she has shared her whole life with – her twin sister, Rachel.

Before the ceremony, Sam and Phil wrote down some of the things they love about each other for me to read out. They heard these for the first time on their wedding day. There were quite a few giggles when the bride confessed that she found it really very difficult to identify one thing that she loved about her new husband.

Red Butterfly Photography

What she meant was that there were so many it was hard to pick just one – not that she couldn’t think of any! Phil also endeared himself to every woman in the room when Sam revealed that he can’t fall asleep unless they’re holding hands. Such a small gesture, but one that speaks volumes about the depth of their connection.

Continuing the theme of family getting involved, the show was almost stolen by Phil’s 16-month-old niece, Charlotte. When Sam started getting teary during her vows, Charlotte decided action was needed. We all heard a loud ‘Oh, Sabby!’ and looked down to see Charlotte throwing her arms around her new aunty in comfort.

Red Butterfly Photography

After I pronounced them husband and wife, Phil asked me to announce that he had a surprise for Sam. Unbeknown to his wife, he had re-recorded Duck Sauce’s Barbra Streisandreplacing Ms Streisand’s name with Sam’s new married name. The newlyweds walked out of the building to much laughter and applause.

I think the above picture pretty much sums up how we all felt on Sam and Phil’s wedding day. Thank you, my dear friends, for giving me the honour of marrying you. All my love and friendship always. xx Koren Samantha and Phillip, 21 May 2011Venue: 333 Collins Street, Melbourne
Photos: the uber-talented Tatiana of Red Butterfly Photography. More photos here.Bridal gown: Collette DinniganCelebrant: Koren Harvey